Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Nipaecoccus viridis
(spherical mealybug)



Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug)


  • Last modified
  • 11 October 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Nipaecoccus viridis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • spherical mealybug
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult, slide mounted. Indonesia. (Slide mount & ID by Bert Lindsey. For S.B.C.)
CaptionNipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult, slide mounted. Indonesia. (Slide mount & ID by Bert Lindsey. For S.B.C.)
Copyright©Patrick Marquez/USDA APHIS PPQ/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult, slide mounted. Indonesia. (Slide mount & ID by Bert Lindsey. For S.B.C.)
AdultNipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult, slide mounted. Indonesia. (Slide mount & ID by Bert Lindsey. For S.B.C.)©Patrick Marquez/USDA APHIS PPQ/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult. Found on Annona squamosa (sugar apple) in New Caledonia. (Specimen Contact - New Zealand Arthropod Collection)
CaptionNipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult. Found on Annona squamosa (sugar apple) in New Caledonia. (Specimen Contact - New Zealand Arthropod Collection)
Copyright©PaDIL/B.E. Rhode & T.K. Crosby/Landcare Research - CC BY 3.0 AU
Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult. Found on Annona squamosa (sugar apple) in New Caledonia. (Specimen Contact - New Zealand Arthropod Collection)
AdultNipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); adult. Found on Annona squamosa (sugar apple) in New Caledonia. (Specimen Contact - New Zealand Arthropod Collection)©PaDIL/B.E. Rhode & T.K. Crosby/Landcare Research - CC BY 3.0 AU
Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); infestation, colonies of Nipaecoccus viridis feeding upon Ximenia americana (tallow wood,yellow plum or sea lemon). Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA.
CaptionNipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); infestation, colonies of Nipaecoccus viridis feeding upon Ximenia americana (tallow wood,yellow plum or sea lemon). Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA.
Copyright© Andrew Derksen/USDA-APHIS/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Nipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); infestation, colonies of Nipaecoccus viridis feeding upon Ximenia americana (tallow wood,yellow plum or sea lemon). Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA.
InfestationNipaecoccus viridis (spherical mealybug); infestation, colonies of Nipaecoccus viridis feeding upon Ximenia americana (tallow wood,yellow plum or sea lemon). Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, USA.© Andrew Derksen/USDA-APHIS/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead)

Preferred Common Name

  • spherical mealybug

Other Scientific Names

  • Dactylopius perniciosus Newstead & Willcocks, 1910
  • Dactylopius vastator Maskell, 1895
  • Dactylopius viridis Newstead, 1894
  • Nipaecoccus vastator (Maskell) Ferris, 1950
  • Pseudococcus albizziae (Maskell) Kirkaldy, 1902
  • Pseudococcus filamentosus var. corymbatus Green, 1922
  • Pseudococcus perniciosus (Newstead & Willcocks) Newstead, 1920
  • Pseudococcus solitarius Brain, 1915
  • Pseudococcus vastator (Maskell) Kirkaldy, 1902
  • Pseudococcus viridis (Newstead) Fernald, 1903
  • Trionymus sericeus James, 1936

International Common Names

  • English: coffee mealybug; cotton mealybug; globular mealybug
  • Spanish: chinches harinosos

Local Common Names

  • Egypt: lebbeck mealybug
  • Germany: Wollaus, Albizzia-
  • Netherlands: Bolle wolluis
  • South Africa: karoo thorn mealybug; karoodoringwitluis

EPPO code

  • NIPAVA (Nipaecoccus vastator)
  • NIPAVI (Nipaecoccus viridis)
  • PSECAL (Pseudococcus albizziae)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Coccoidea
  •                                 Family: Pseudococcidae
  •                                     Genus: Nipaecoccus
  •                                         Species: Nipaecoccus viridis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Nipaecoccus viridis was first described by Newstead (1894), as Dactylopius viridis, from material collected in India. For many years, the name Nipaecoccus vastator (Maskell) was commonly used for this mealybug. Ali (1970) synonymized vastator with viridis. Ben-Dov (1994) provides a complete, annotated list of the synonyms and names used for this species. Pseudococcus albizziae (Maskell) is a misidentification. There are many records of N. viridis under the name Pseudococcus filamentosus (Cockerell) but these are based on misidentifications (Williams and Watson, 1988).


Top of page Egg

Eggs are dark purple and laid by the female in a yellowish to white ovisac formed by wax threads.


Male and female larval instars are described and illustrated by Ghosh and Ghose (1989). Keys to 1st-instar larvae, 2nd- and 3rd-instar female larvae and adult females are provided by Ghose and Ghosh (1990), who also discuss the morphologies of different instars of both sexes.

Adult female

Ben-Dov (1994) lists numerous publications containing descriptions of the adult stage. The adult male and female stages have been re-described and illustrated several times, for example Williams and Watson (1988) for the adult female. Important characters in slide-mounted adult females are the conical to lanceolate setae on the dorsal abdominal segments being similar in size to the two cerarian setae on the anal lobes. There are numerous oral collar tubular ducts on the dorsum, and cerarii (at most eight pairs) are present on the abdomen only, each with two enlarged conical to lanceolate setae. A circulus is present, round to oval in shape, and the ostioles are represented by a poorly-developed posterior pair only.

Cilliers and Bedford (1978), Annecke and Moran (1982) and Hattingh et al. (1998) describe the appearance of live specimens of this mealybug, and provided illustrations. Adult females are about 4 mm long, the young ones covered in mealy white wax with short projecting filaments arranged around the margin. Ovipositing females become covered in abundant white waxy threads that form a smooth globular ovisac. The wax threads are very elastic and if the ovisac is grasped and pulled with the fingers, it can be drawn out for 150 mm or more. The body contents are purple and this can be observed when individuals are squashed.

Adult male

Adult males have well-developed legs, antennae and genitalia, one pair of simple wings and no mouthparts. They are very short-lived.


Top of page Comprehensive distribution records may be found in CIE (1983), and Ben-Dov (1994). Map no. 446, published by CIE (1983), includes additions for Mauritius and Jamaica, cited as Pseudococcus filamentosus. The identity of these mealybugs has not always been certain. However, the Natural History Museum (London, UK) collection now contains specimens of N. viridis collected from Mauritius.

The distribution map includes several further records based on specimens of N. viridis from the collection in the Natural History Museum (London, UK).

N. viridis occurs in many parts of the tropics, and is particularly widespread in Africa and the Oriental Region. N. viridis was first found in Israel in 1984 (Bar-Zakay et al., 1987).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


AfghanistanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
BangladeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
CambodiaPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
ChinaPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Hong KongPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-HunanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)PresentBellis et al., 2004
IndiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Andhra PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-BiharPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-DelhiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-GoaPresentAli, 1972; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-GujaratPresentShah et al., 1981; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Himachal PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Indian PunjabPresentSharma, 2011
-KarnatakaPresentShafee, 1970; Chacko and Singh, 1980; CIE, 1983; Mani and Thontadarya, 1987; Mani and Krishnamoorthy, 1990; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-KeralaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Madhya PradeshPresentSrivastava, 1972; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-MaharashtraPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-OdishaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Tamil NaduPresentKumar et al., 1979; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Uttar PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-West BengalPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
IndonesiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-JavaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
IranPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; Abdul-Rassoul, 2014; EPPO, 2014
IraqPresentEl-Haidari et al., 1974; Jarjes et al., 1989; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014; Abdul-Rassoul, 2015
IsraelPresentBar-Zakay et al., 1987; Ben-Dov, 1987; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
JapanPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
JordanPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
MalaysiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent
NepalPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
OmanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
PakistanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
PhilippinesPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Saudi ArabiaPresentFAO, 1972; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Sri LankaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
TaiwanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
ThailandPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
VietnamPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014


AlgeriaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
AngolaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
BeninPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Burkina FasoPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
ComorosPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Côte d'IvoirePresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
EgyptPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
EritreaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
KenyaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
MadagascarPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
MalawiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
MaliPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
MauritiusPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
NigerPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
NigeriaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
SenegalPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
SeychellesPresentEPPO, 2014
South AfricaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
SudanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
TanzaniaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
TogoPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
UgandaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
ZimbabwePresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014

North America

MexicoPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
USARestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2005; IPPC, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-FloridaPresentIntroducedStocks and Hodges, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-HawaiiPresentGagne and Stein, 1982; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

BahamasPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014


AustraliaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
-QueenslandPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
GuamPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
KiribatiPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
New CaledoniaPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Papua New GuineaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
Solomon IslandsPresentBen-Dov, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014
TuvaluPresentCABI/EPPO, 2005; EPPO, 2014

Risk of Introduction

Top of page N. viridis poses an important phytosanitary risk. Individuals often settle in cryptic places on plant material, such as under sepals of citrus fruits, and can easily be distributed on exported plants or plant products (Hattingh et al., 1998).

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page Ben-Dov (1994) listed all recorded host plants of N. viridis. It is a rather polyphagous species, feeding on plants in 18 families, many of which are trees, and including crops such as citrus and coffee. Apparently, bhant (Clerodendrum infortunatum) is the original wild food-plant of the pest in West Bengal, India (Ghosh and Ghosh, 1985).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Acacia karroo (sweet thorn)FabaceaeWild host
Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)FabaceaeUnknown
Alcea rosea (Hollyhock)MalvaceaeUnknown
Alhagi maurorum (camelthorn)FabaceaeOther
Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit)MoraceaeUnknown
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)LiliaceaeUnknown
Cestrum nocturnum (night jessamine)SolanaceaeOther
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus aurantium (sour orange)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus limon (lemon)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus maxima (pummelo)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus sinensis (navel orange)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)RutaceaeUnknown
Clerodendrum infortunatumLamiaceaeWild host
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeUnknown
Corchorus capsularis (white jute)TiliaceaeUnknown
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)RosaceaeUnknown
Euphorbia hirta (garden spurge)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Ficus carica (common fig)MoraceaeUnknown
Gardenia jasminoides (cape jasmine)RubiaceaeOther
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeUnknown
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)MalvaceaeUnknown
Grevillea robusta (silky oak)ProteaceaeUnknown
Hibiscus (rosemallows)MalvaceaeOther
Hibiscus manihot (Hibiscus root)MalvaceaeUnknown
Jacaranda mimosifolia (jacaranda)BignoniaceaeUnknown
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena)FabaceaeUnknown
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeUnknown
Morus alba (mora)MoraceaeOther
Morus nigra (black mulberry)MoraceaeUnknown
Nerium oleander (oleander)ApocynaceaeUnknown
Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed)AsteraceaeUnknown
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeMain
Phyllanthus niruri (seed-under-the-leaf)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeUnknown
Solanum tuberosum (potato)SolanaceaeUnknown
Spathodea campanulata (African tulip tree)BignoniaceaeUnknown
Tamarindus indica (Indian tamarind)FabaceaeUnknown
Tamarix (tamarisk)TamaricaceaeUnknown
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeUnknown
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)RhamnaceaeUnknown
Ziziphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn jujube)RhamnaceaeUnknown

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage


Top of page Cilliers and Bedford (1978) and Hattingh et al. (1998) described and illustrated the effect of this mealybug on citrus in South Africa. Feeding on young twigs causes bulbous outgrowths, and heavy infestations may severely stunt the growth of young trees. Occasionally, this mealybug becomes so abundant on citrus that the branches and leaves become covered with white cottony threads (Annecke and Moran, 1982). Also, the leaves and other parts of the tree become shining wet with honeydew. Citrus fruits infested with N. viridis may develop lumpy outgrowths or raised shoulders near the stem end. Such swellings are already present on fruit from the size of a pea, and they enlarge with the growth of the fruit. Frequently, fruits turn yellow and then partly black around the stem end, finally dropping off the tree. Late infestations on large green fruits result in congregations of young mealybugs in clumps over the face of the fruit. Each colony produces a raised spot which turns yellow. When maturing fruit is infested, such feeding areas become excessively yellow.

Ghosh and Ghosh (1985) reported that the artificial infestation of cotton, citrus, jute, jack fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and bhant (Clerodendrum infortunatum) with N. viridis resulted, in general, in arrestment of linear growth of the stems and petioles and great reduction and crumpling of the leaves. Histological changes in infested laminae included abnormal dimensions in different cells and an increase in the size and density of stomata.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / abnormal shape
Fruit / external feeding
Fruit / honeydew or sooty mould
Fruit / premature drop
Fruit / reduced size
Growing point / distortion
Growing point / external feeding
Inflorescence / honeydew or sooty mould
Leaves / abnormal forms
Leaves / external feeding
Leaves / fungal growth
Leaves / honeydew or sooty mould
Stems / external feeding
Stems / honeydew or sooty mould
Stems / stunting or rosetting
Whole plant / distortion; rosetting

Biology and Ecology

Top of page In a review by Sharaf and Meyerdirk (1987), the biology, ecology, geographic distribution and natural enemies of N. viridis are described.

In Iraq, populations of N. viridis reached peaks in May and October (Jarjes et al., 1989). There were significant positive correlations between population density and temperature, and negative correlations with relative humidity. Females of N. viridis each laid 90-138 eggs, and the egg and nymphal stages lasted 10-13 and 31-43 days, respectively. Overwintering took place as eggs, nymphs and adults.

In citrus orchards at Rustenburg, South Africa, there are three generations of N. viridis per year (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978). The September-October generation of mature females lays eggs that hatch during October-November. The crawlers migrate and settle mainly in protected areas, under the sepals of the fruitlets when they are pea-sized or larger. This second generation matures in November and lays eggs which hatch during December. The third generation of females matures in about March-April.

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Alamella flava Parasite Nymphs
Anagyrus aegyptiacus Parasite Nymphs
Anagyrus aurantifrons Parasite Nymphs
Anagyrus dactylopii Parasite Nymphs Guam; Saipan Leucaena
Anagyrus indicus Parasite Nymphs
Anagyrus kamali Parasite
Anagyrus pseudococci Parasite Nymphs
Chrysoperla mutata Predator Adults/Nymphs
Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Predator
Delphastus pusillus Predator Adults/Nymphs Saipan Leucaena
Eublemma costimacula Predator Adults/Nymphs
Euryischomyia washingtoni
Gyranusoidea munda Parasite
Leptomastix dactylopii Parasite
Leptomastix phenacocci Parasite Egypt shade trees
Nephus ryuguus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Pyroderces philogeorgia Predator Adults/Nymphs
Timberlakia signata Parasite Israel Citrus

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Noyes and Hayat (1994) provide information on encyrtid parasitoids. Sharaf and Meyerdirk (1987) describe the natural enemies and biological control of N. viridis. Bartlett (1978) also discusses biological control.

Alamella flava and Anagyrus near A. gunturiensis [A. mirzai] have been reared from N. viridis collected on coffee at Karnataka, India (Chacko and Singh, 1980). Euryischomyia alami [E. washingtoni] has also been reported from Karnataka, India (Shafee, 1970).

The gregarious encyrtid parasitoid Anagyrus agraensis oviposits in nymphs in all three immature instars and in adult females of N. viridis (Nechols and Kikuchi, 1985).

In Iraq, peaks of activity by predators and parasites of N. viridis occurred between 15 May and 15 June for Exochomus nigripennis, Dicrodiplosis sp., Anagyrus pseudococci and Marietta picta (a hyperparasitoid), and in September-October for Nephus bipunctatus, Chrysopa sp., Dicrodiplosis sp., A. pseudococci and M. picta (El-Haidari et al., 1974).

In the laboratory in Iraq, the predator Chrysopa mutata [Chrysoperla mutata], fed on N. viridis (Abid et al., 1985).

Additional information on natural enemies can be found in Williams and Watson (1988), including the predators Cryptolaemus sp. and Diadiplosis sp. Other reported predators include Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Exochomus flavipes, Gitonides perspicax [Domomyza perspicax], Leucopis alticeps and Sympherobius sp. (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978) and Diadiplosis koebelei (Gagne and Stein, 1982).

However, there is no evidence that these predators are significant control agents in the field.


Top of page Mani and Thontadarya (1987) reported that N. viridis caused up to 5% damage in two vineyards in Bangalore, India. In Hawaii, N. viridis was long considered the most destructive mealybug species (Bartlett, 1978).

Losses in citrus orchards are due firstly to fruit drop caused by large infestations of mealybugs. In South Africa, half or more of the navel crop can be lost in this way (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978). Secondly, fruits with lumpy outgrowths or raised shoulders near the stem end, caused by N. viridis feeding, have to be culled in the packhouse (Hattingh et al. 1998).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page Citrus fruits have to be inspected by looking under the sepals for hidden individual mealybugs or light infestations, as the mealybugs favour such cryptic feeding sites. Both ends of navel oranges must be examined as mealybugs tend to settle in the navel cavity, as well as under the sepals (Cilliers and Bedford, 1978).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page Many mealybugs are very similar to each other in overall appearance, and are thus difficult to identify. In South Africa, N. viridis can be distinguished from other mealybugs on citrus by means of the key provided by Hattingh et al. (1998). Diagnostic features are the purple body contents of all stages and the eggs; and the globular, finely woven, smooth-surfaced ovisac, the threads of which can be drawn out extensively. The appearance in life can give an initial impression of a margarodid (for example, Icerya sp.) rather than a mealybug.

Prevention and Control

Top of page Introduction

Control measures in Israel are described by Bar-Zakay et al. (1987).

Cultural Control

Studies in India showed that bagging of pomegranate fruits was effective as a physical measure for controlling the lycaenid Virachola isocrates [Deudorix isocrates], but could not be recommended as it resulted in increased infestation of the fruits by N. viridis (Shevale, 1994).

Chemical Control

In Egypt, life table studies indicate that N. viridis should be controlled on lemon trees by means of insecticide application(s) during the first half of July, instead of the traditional control operations in spring, summer and autumn (Sharaf, 1996). Chemical control methods are also described by Sharaf and Meyerdirk (1987).

Biological Control

Studies by Meyerdirk et al. (1988) showed that Anagyrus agraensis, which was released into the Jordan River Valley from Guam, greatly reduced infestations of N. viridis in areas where A. agraensis was abundant. Bartlett (1978) also discusses biological control of N. viridis.

Nechols and Seibert (1985) found that survivorship of N. viridis in northern Guam was significantly higher on Leucaena leucocephala tended by the ant Technomyrmex albipes than when T. albipes was excluded. The presence of T. albipes decreased the percentage of N. viridis parasitized by the encyrtid Anagyrus agraensis and the mortality attributable to host killing by A. agraensis and predation by other arthropods.

In South Africa, this mealybug is considered to be well controlled by natural enemies. Outbreaks generally result from chemical disruption of such natural enemies (Hattingh et al. 1998).


Top of page

Abdul-Rassoul MS, 2014. Host plants of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead, 1894) (Homoptera, Pseudococcidae) in Iraq with detection of new hosts. Advances in Bio Research, 5(4):3-6.

Abdul-Rassoul MS, 2015. Host plants of the mealybug Nipaecoccus viridis (Newstead, 1894) (Homoptera, pseudococcidae) in Iraq with detection of new hosts. Advances in Bio Research, 6(2):23-26.

Abid MK; Al-Rubep JK; Hussien AK, 1985. Biological studies on the predator Chrysopa mutata McLachlan (Chrysopidae Neuroptera) in Iraq. Journal of Agriculture and Water Resources Research, 4(1):153-160

Ali SM, 1970. A catalogue of the Oriental Coccoidea. (Part IV.) (Insecta: Homoptera: Coccoidea). Indian Museum Bulletin, Calcutta, 5:71-150.

Ali SM, 1972. Some Coccids from Goa. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 69(3):669-671

Annecke DP; Moran VC, 1982. Insects and mites of cultivated plants in South Africa. Durban, South Africa: Butterworths.

APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA).

Bartlett BR, 1978. Pseudococcidae. In: Clausen CP, ed. Introduced Parasites and Predators of Arthropod Pests and Weeds: a World Review. Agriculture Handbook No. 480, 137-170.

Bar-Zakay I; Peleg BA; Chen C, 1987. Spherical mealybug infesting citrus in Israel. Alon Hanotea, 41(8):855-860

Bellis GA; Donaldson JF; Carver M; Hancock DL; Fletcher MJ, 2004. Records of insect pests on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean. Australian Entomologist, 31(3):93-102.

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